Major Automakers Reconfirm Commercialization Targets For Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles
Toronto, Canada – Today at the World Hydrogen Energy Conference in Toronto, auto
representatives from Daimler AG, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota displayed some of their new fuel cell cars. Some have announced the delivery to showrooms as early as 2013, two years earlier than originally planned.
They also confirmed that they are moving ahead with plans to rollout hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2015. This timeline was first announced with the signing of a letter of understanding in 2009 by all the major manufacturers.
Some of the highlights of today’s industry briefing include:
- Daimler already has 200 B-class vehicles in service with electric engines powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Three vehicles completed an around-the-world tour in 2011. Daimler will soon open a fuel cell manufacturing facility in Vancouver, British Columbia to produce fuel cell stacks for its new-generation B-Class fuel cell vehicles and the company will introduce fuel cell vehicles to the marketplace in 2014.
- Honda has been leasing its FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle to a limited number of retail consumers in Southern California since 2008.
- Hyundai announced that during 2012 to 2015, 1,000 hydrogen fuel cell Hyundai vehicles will be on the road in the United States, Europe, and Asia. By 2015, Hyundai hopes a roomy and fully-featured fuel cell powered Hyundai SUV to be provided at an affordable cost. Recently, Norwegian NGO called ZERO crossed Europe with two ix35 FCEV from Oslo to Monte Carlo using only existing hydrogen stations, showing that with additional supports on the hydrogen infrastructure will allow for fuel cell vehicles to reach every corner of Europe.
- Toyota will bring a fuel-cell sedan to market by 2015 and currently has more than 100 FCHV-adv vehicles on U.S. roads.
- Germany and Japan have committed to the construction of hundreds of hydrogen fueling stations over the next several years.
John Sheridan – board chair at the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association – said this “encouraging news from the car companies” was another example of fuel cell technology beginning to move out of the lab and into the commercial marketplace. “Hydrogen fuel cells are approaching a ‘tipping point’ in terms of commercial adoption,” he said. “And that’s especially good news for Canada because a lot of the basic technology was developed here, and companies here manufacture a great many high-tech fuel cell products for use in applications around the globe.”
Industry analysts at Pike Research – an American research firm specializing in clean energy – predict sales of fuel cell cars and trucks will reach a cumulative 1 million vehicles globally by 2020. Manufacturers say sales will accelerate as the refueling infrastructure expands and as fuel cell electric vehicles – known in the industry as FCEV’s – become increasingly price- competitive as a result of larger production runs.
Canada, a world leader in the development of hydrogen fuel cell technologies and a leading
exporter worldwide, stands to benefit from the commercialization of FCEVs and infrastructure. However, commercial launch of FCEVs in Canada in the near future will be limited to provinces and municipalities actively supporting development of local refueling infrastructure and other incentives for consumers. British Columbia has become a North American leader by offering a $5000 purchase incentive for a FCEV. Several “hydrogen highway” fueling stations were installed in the Lower Mainland and the Sea-to-Sky corridor several years ago with support from government. One of those stations is located in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey, which is now converting its municipal fleet to low-emission vehicles, including several FCEV’s.
The World Hydrogen Energy Conference has attracted more than 1,000 global leaders from
industry, universities, science and government to discuss developments in hydrogen systems, fuel cells and related technologies. The Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association – a conference partner – is the voice of Canada’s hydrogen and fuel cell sector.